“Willy Wonka” actor Gene Wilder dies at 83
American actor Gene Wilder, best known for portraying title character in the children’s film “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” died in his Stamford, Connecticut home on Sunday, Aug. 28. He was 83.
According to his nephew, Jordan Walker-Pearlman, Wilder died from complications from Alzheimer’s disease.
“The decision to wait until this time to disclose his condition wasn’t vanity, but more so that the countless young children that would smile or call out to him ‘Willy Wonka,’ would not have to be then exposed to an adult referencing illness or trouble and causing delight to travel to worry, disappointment or confusion,” Walker-Pearlman said in a statement.
Wilder made his television debut in 1962 in the series “Armstrong Circle Theatre,” and first appeared on the silver screen in the 1967 film “Bonnie and Clyde.” He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in the 1968 movie “The Producers.”
He also frequently worked with director and writer Mel Brooks, as well as stand-up comedian Richard Pryor.
Canadian actor Eric McCormack, who worked with Wilder in “Will & Grace,” expressed his grief through Twitter.
“A genius I stole from constantly, and one I was humbled & thrilled to work with. RIP #GeneWilder,” he wrote, sharing a photo of the two on set of the show.
Wilder leaves behind wife Karen Boyer, whom he married in 1991.